Los Angeles Lakers vs Toronto Raptors: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors

Where: Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Thursday, March 14th at 8:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, SN1/O, and Spectrum Sportsnet | 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES, Sportsnet 590 The FAN

Los Angeles Lakers (Away)

Head Coach: Luke Walton {All-Time 92-139 | LAL}

The Los Angeles Lakers have admitted defeat this season. With a record of 31-36, the Lakers sit eleventh in the Western Conference and are 6.5 games out of the playoff race. LeBron James is now on a minutes restriction and Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball are both shut down for the season. Any wins for the Lakers are a consolation for what is a failure of a season.

At this point, expectations for the Los Angeles Lakers are incredibly low. They are 3-7 in their last ten games and have only recently broken what was a five-game losing streak. The Lakers are going deep into their bench to see what they have for the following year, but talent is sparse on a struggling Lakers squad.

Unfortunately for the Lakers they will be coming up against one of the NBA’s most talented squads in the Toronto Raptors. Likely the strongest team in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors’ bench five is likely stronger than the Lakers’ starters. Toronto has a habit of resting players in games like this though, so don’t be surprised if the Lakers put up a fight.

Toronto Raptors (Home)

Head Coach: Nick Nurse {All-Time 48-20 | TOR}

The Toronto Raptors have clinched the NBA Playoffs and look primed to be the second-best team in the Eastern Conference by the seasons’ end. With a record of 48-20, the Toronto Raptors also hold a five-game lead over their closest competition the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Toronto Raptors haven’t been spectacular as of late, going on a bit of an up and down run as injuries and familiarity are yet to be dealt with. They are 6-4 in their last ten games and are most recently coming off of a loss in embarrassing fashion to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When the Toronto Raptors take on the Los Angeles Lakers they will be without the biggest star from their last meeting, Serge Ibaka. Due to disciplinary action, Ibaka will miss the next three games. On the plus side, it will be next man up for the Toronto Raptors who are sure to dig deep into their bench to see what they have available for themselves.

What’s At Stake?

The Los Angeles Lakers have generally dominated this matchup with the Toronto Raptors. In the all-time series, the Lakers lead the Raptors 28-16.

A win for the Toronto Raptors would keep them in second and within 2.5 games of the Milwaukee Bucks who are first in the Eastern Conference.

A win for the Los Angeles Lakers would bring them to level with the Minnesota Timberwolves who are tenth in the Western Conference.

Questions to answer

What do the Lakers have to look forward to?

What can the Raptors find before the playoffs?

We are going to compare the Los Angeles Lakers and the Toronto Raptors in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

The Lakers Are Essentially Out of the Playoffs

Two of the Lakers’ brightest players on shut down for the remainder of the season, LeBron James is on a minutes restriction, and it seems that more and more news about the Lakers’ internal dysfunction is coming to light. Beyond all that, is there anything to look forward to in Los Angeles?

Technically that thing to look forward to is the Clippers, but for Lakers fans, it will be a long final stretch of the season. It seems Rob Pelinka brought in Andre Ingram to soften the blow and bring fans back on his side, but the sequel is rarely better than the original. A look down the bench suggests that the Lakers will just chance their developing prospects.

Alex Caruso, Isaac Bonga, Moritz Wagner, and Johnathan Williams are three players that have spent the majority of their time with the South Bay Lakers of the G-League. All four are interesting players who will surely see ample opportunity by seasons end. With the Lakers’ future up in the air, it is important for them to see if they already have something valuable.

The Raptors Are Still Under the Player Limit

General Manager Bobby Webster and President Masai Ujiri made some shrewd moves before the NBA Trade Deadline. The result was five players out and two players in. While Marc Gasol and Jeremy Lin provide upgrades for the Toronto Raptors at their position, the team is still just at the 14 player roster limit with the addition of 10-day contract Eric Moreland.

It is curious to see what the Toronto Raptors will do before the end of the NBA regular season. They previously added Jodie Meeks for shooting and speed off the bench and he performed admirably, despite his ten-day not being renewed. They also maintain two-ways Malcolm Miller, a 3-and-D small forward who was with them last year but has only just recovered from a wrist injury, and Jordan Loyd, an electric scoring point guard who is lighting up the G-League but yet to make an impact in the NBA.

What is certain is that the Toronto Raptors are looking to fill their roster by the end of the season going into the playoffs. With the recent suspension of Serge Ibaka, the Toronto Raptors actually saved approximately 500k toward the luxury tax. There is no benefit going into the off-season with less players than allowed so look for the Raptors to experiment with a number of lineups going forward.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

G Lonzo Ball – 9 Mar 2019 – Out (Left Ankle) – Ball has been shut down for the remainder of the season, according to Shams Charania of the Athletic.

C Tyson Chandler – 12 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Neck) – Chandler has been ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Mar 12) game.

F Brandon Ingram – 9 Mar 2019 – Out For Season (Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)) – The Lakers announced F Brandon Ingram will likely miss the rest of the season.

G Lance Stephenson – 12 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Toe) – Stephenson has been ruled OUT for Tuesday’s (Mar 12) game.

Toronto Raptors Roster Notes

G Kyle Lowry – 11 Mar 2019 – Day To Day (Ankle) – Lowry left Monday’s (Mar 11) game and will not return.

G Fred Vanvleet – 7 Mar 2019 – Out (Left Thumb Soreness) – VanVleet is making progress and he thinks he will be able to return in the next two weeks or so, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN Sports.

F-C Serge Ibaka – 11 Mar 2019 – Out (Suspension) – Ibaka has been suspended without pay for three games following a physical altercation with Marquese Chriss of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Head-to-Head: Kyle Kuzma (LAL) vs Pascal Siakam (TOR)

With the number of players that are out of this match, it is important not to forget who is still available. Two rising stars and power forwards in today’s NBA, Kyle Kuzma and Pascal Siakam will be on full display. Their speed, playmaking, and shooting are definitive of what the NBA is looking for in its players today. It should be an exciting match.

Kyle Kuzma

Power Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Utah | Exp. 1 Years

18.9 PPG | 2.5 APG | 5.6 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 1.9 TOV | .467 FG% | .313 3P%

Kyle Kuzma is talented no doubt, but there are times when he seems to coast through games. In his last match, Kuzma provided 21 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists on 9-17 shooting in 33 minutes. Despite his solid line, it generally seems like Kuzma can do more. While he’s not a strong defensive player, he has the offensive skill and now the freedom to do more for the Lakers than ever before. He will be tested by Pascal Siakam.

Pascal Siakam

Power Forward | 6-9, 230lb (206cm, 104kg) | New Mexico State/Cameroon | Exp. 2 Years

16.4 PPG | 3.0 APG | 7.0 RPG | 0.9 SPG | 0.7 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .549 FG% | .363 3P%

WSN’s pick for the 2019 NBA Most Improved Player of the Year award is the Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam and it is easy to see why. He has nearly doubled all of his counting statistics and plays a vital role in the game plan of the Toronto Raptors. He is a rebounder, defender, playmaker, and spot up shooter for the Raptors. He has improved his shooting from deep to 37% on the year and is Giannis-like in his ability to take the ball from one end of the court to the other. Siakam is a budding star and is sure to want to put on another good performance against Toronto’s playoff demon LeBron James.

Los Angeles Lakers at Toronto Raptors Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have the Toronto Raptors favored over the Los Angeles Lakers by 11, with an over/under of 110.